Maroon 5 is a band that has garnered plenty of accolades and probably an equal amount of hate throughout their career. They’ve had their ups and downs, from winning awards at the Grammys and other shows, to their disaster of a performance at the 2019 Super Bowl. But regardless, I find them to be one of the most important and one of the most interesting groups of the 20th century. Most people at this point in their career would consider them “sellouts” by the way they’ve managed to seamlessly ditch the alternative rock sound they started out with and move into a strictly pop oriented reality. However, if you actually take a full length listen to anything besides Overexposed (probably their weakest release if I’m being honest), you’ll easily figure out why they’ve stuck around this long. Maroon 5 is a band that has managed to reinvent themselves with every album and gain listeners attention with pop radio hits and keep them around with albums full of other, less pop produced tracks. This was clearly intentional and it worked very well in their favor. Songs About Jane, where it all started, is one that features lots of these memorable songs from “Harder To Breathe”, “This Love” and “Sunday Morning” that were spectacular and drew interest for the record that they’re contained on. Just those songs on their own are unforgettable (I still hear them playing everywhere I go) but beyond that, there are more songs that are just as great, if not better.
This song takes us through an abusive relationship but from the perspective of the abuser, who is fully aware of their actions and feels regretful for being such a lousy person. It’s an interesting concept because we rarely ever see songs written this way; instead, it’s normally the other person describing the negatives of the relationship. Sonically, it’s quite relaxed with an almost indie rock inspired feel when it comes to production with an easy simple drum beat, live sounding vocals and a funky guitar solo during the bridge. The chorus is easily one of the best on here and even though the song feels like it ends way too soon, the ending instrumental part is enough of an ending to keep you pressing repeat on this one.
Songs About Jane is a concept album about a specific relationship and many of these songs describe the unfortunate outcome of it. Even though this one fits that mold, it’s more lighthearted than some of the others. “The Sun” has perfect tinges of jazz rock and a very slight funky feel, with warped guitars and what I believe to be an organ. It talks about moving on from this broken relationship and not regretting it, seamlessly layering into the instrumental and showcasing a level of optimism that is rarely found on here. This is also one of my favorite songs vocally on the entire project.
Maroon 5 mastered the sound of jazz inspired rock with this record and this song is probably the prime example. Beyond just being catchy, the instrumental is so fun and features the most immaculate buildup to the bridge which is very rock inspired with a raging guitar solo and a prominent percussion. It’s very 2000s feeling but in the best way possible and I find it to be just as good now as it was back then.